Pubdate: Thu, 21 Oct 2010
Source: Arcata Eye (CA)
Copyright: 2010 Arcata Eye
Author: Selena Rowan


To all the ganja farmers, hustlers, bucket spinners and trimmers,

First off, allow me to remind you that we all owe our livelihoods to
this sacred plant. In fact, everyone in the Emerald Triangle, if not
the entire state, benefits from this plant directly or indirectly on a
daily basis. The huge down side to all of this is the thousands of
lives being wasted in jail. On top of that, for every person in jail
are families and friends paying the price. Millions if not billions of
dollars are wasted enforcing these antiquated laws, and precious
resources are wasted by growers trying to keep themselves safe; i.e.
the garbage bags of fertile soil brought to the dump every day.
Paranoia and secrecy abound, isolating communities and severing us
from living our truth as we try to protect ourselves.

I'll be the first to agree that Prop. 19 is not a great bill. But like
all new legislation, it takes years to work out the kinks. We are
still way off from a truly legitimate medical program and that started
over a decade ago. The way I see it, this is a massive floodgate and
Proposition 19 is just the first step in opening that gate. We owe it
to this plant to free it from our closets and basements. Do we really
think that a plant that has been imprisoned indoors can set our minds
free anyway?

There are two points I want to make. First, that no one has the right
to continue living their lavish, new truck and sushi twice a week
lifestyles on the backs of these people in jail. If you haven't made
yours yet in the illegal marijuana industry - too bad, you missed your
opportunity. Second, legalization will bring about many positive
changes. The price will obviously drop and that will force an end to
indoor growing (growers, this is ok; the only reason it went indoors
was because it was illegal). The power bill won't be cost effective,
unless of course, one has access to solar power or another renewable
source of energy.

If there is a future in more conventional indoor growing, Oakland has
us badly beat. The only option left will be to return to the roots of
Humboldt county growing; mom and pop organic outdoor. This brings up
the next great change: no more chemicals. Growers trying to make a
profit after a price drop won't be able to afford chemicals
fertilizers and pesticides. Compost and manure are infinitely cheaper.
Without the need to be in hiding and the forced cost cutting, growers
will also put an end to the ridiculous waste involved in growing.
Everyone will be forced to get sustainable and start walking the talk
of an ecologically minded Humboldt county. We hardly even need to
mention how much marijuana related crime will drop.

You may be saying to yourself that this sounds great, but what about
our local economy? Of course Marlboro will come in and do what they
do. but they won't talk to their plants, they won't play them music
and they won't love them the way we do. There will always be a Cuban
Cigar market - lets create the gourmet ganja market!

Not only that, but Humboldt has been on the brink of economic collapse
before because of our dependency on exploited resources, and it has
pulled through. First it was the trees and fish, now it's the diesel
grows and $2000/month power bills. Legalization could be our chance to
legitimize ourselves as the healthy, sustainable marijuana capital of
the world. I see this as a win-win situation, regardless of your
personal stance on the plant in general. No more grow room fires,
housing shortages in Arcata, fear and of course, no more people going
to jail for a plant.

If you are a grower, the only way to make it after this happens will
be to become truly impeccable in your farming. If you think you grow
the best ganja out there, here's your chance to prove it because only
the best will survive. There's no excuse for all that moldy weed out
there anyway! The competition will be very stiff. If you don't love
this plant enough to make these changes, you don't deserve its benefits.

So next time you are watering your plants, think about the true costs
of your lifestyle. Let's make Jack Herer and Peter Tosh proud. And
remember: are you growing the herb or is the herb growing you?

With many green blessings (and a little help from Kali),

Selena Rowan

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